Today, as was yet again lagging behind my buddies a curious fish swam by and settled on the bottom. The last time I encountered this particular fish was more than a few years ago so I was quite surprise when he settled down for a photo shoot.
What the heck is this??
This, my friends is a plainfin midshipman.
Here are some fun facts about this fish from none other than Wikipedia... it is on there so it must be correct? ;)
Midshipman fish belong to the genus Porichthys of toadfishes. They are distinguished by having photophores (which they use to attract prey and after which they are named, reminding some of a naval uniform's buttons) and four lateral lines. Typical midshipman fishes, such as the plainfin midshipman (Porichthys notatus), are nocturnal and bury themselves in sand or mud in the intertidal zone during the day. At night they float just above the seabed. Some species have venomous dorsal spines and are capable of inflicting serious injuries if handled.
There are three genders of midshipman fish: females, type I males, and type II males. Type I and type II males have different reproductive strategies, and can be distinguished from each other based on physical characteristics. Type I males are eight times larger in body mass, and have much larger vocal organs. Type II males’ reproductive organs are seven times the size of type I males. Female and type II male midshipman fish can be distinguished from each other by the female’s slightly larger size, and the type II male midshipman’s large reproductive organs.
For other pics from this particular day out, you can find them o